Gifting Wine: Choosing the Right Wine for Someone Else

Gifting Wine: Choosing the Right Wine for Someone Else

Wine can make a great gift on many different occasions because it can be used to celebrate so many different things. When invited to someone’s home you can bring wine to go with a meal. Wine can commemorate weddings, births, graduations, and anniversaries of many kinds. It is a very appropriate professional gift, particularly if you are choosing a luxury wine.

But how do you know what to choose for someone else? What type of wine someone likes is a very personal choice, and it can be hard to know what to buy for another person. Here are some ideas that will help you select the right wine for any gift occasion.

Going to Someone’s Home

If you are choosing a wine to bring when you are a guest in someone’s home, it’s best to either bring something you already know they like, or something that will pair well with what they are serving. If you have known this person for some time, you probably have an idea of what they like to drink (red or white, sparkling or still, region of the world, etc.). People often make the mistake of trying to find “a really great bottle” to give as a gift, when they already know what their friend likes to drink. Just get them what they like. It shows you remembered their preferences and chose it specially for them.

If you have an idea of what food they are serving, ask the wine store salesperson to help you select a bottle that will pair well. Champagnes and sparkling wines go well with appetizers, chilled whites are great for drinking outside in the summer with lighter meals, and reds pair best with heavier meat dishes.

For a Special Occasion Gift

Gifting Wine: Choosing the Right Wine for Someone Else

Wines are a perfect choice to celebrate a special occasion, particularly weddings, birth, and graduations. Anything that marks a rite of passage in life.

Weddings

Champagne is a classic choice to celebrate a wedding. Normally, Champagne is a blend of wines made in different years, but for a wedding consider a vintage Champagne which is made using only wine from the year on the label. It could be from the year the couple met, it could be a Champagne that will need to age until their 5th or 10th wedding anniversary, it could be one that’s already aged and will be ready to open on their honeymoon. Give them something that commemorates this special occasion.

Birthdays

If you are looking for a gift to celebrate the birth of a child, try giving them a wine made the year they were born. This is a special gift because it is personal, and like people, wines continue to evolve and mature through their lifetime.

If the wine is for a child/parents of a child, choose something that has a long ageing process and will be ready to drink when the child is older. A Bordeaux or a vintage Port are traditional choices for these types of gifts, though some Burgundy wines are also suitable. These are wines that can age 10, 15, or 20 years, and can be saved for a future special occasion such as a milestone birthday or university graduation.

Graduations

For graduations, similar to weddings, you can choose to buy a wine that is ready to drink immediately or one that will be ready for a later anniversary of the event. It could be a wine made the year the graduate started university and which is ready when they graduate. Or perhaps a wine that won’t be ready for another 5 years, just in time to celebrate perhaps getting married or getting a new job.

Wine as a Professional Gift

Wine is also a perfect gift to give in a professional setting, whether it is a premium bottle given to an important client or contact, or as a simpler token of respect to a colleague or employee. 

For someone important

For premium wines, ask a wine salesperson for advice. Choose something with a recognizable name, perhaps something that is rare or difficult to acquire where your contact lives – French and Italian wines generally have the highest status. Many of these wines require time to age, so decide if you want to buy one that is ready to open immediately or will need more time.

Another option, if you are giving a gift to a wine connoisseur, is to offer one of your best local wines. Even if it is not as well known as premium brands, a wine connoisseur will always appreciate trying something new. In this case though, choose a wine that is recognized as being one of the very best wines your country or region produces.

For a colleague

For a colleague, do not overdo it. A well-made bottle of a versatile wine, something that is easy to drink with or without food, is better than getting something very unique that this person may not like. 

Remember, whenever you are gifting wine, the important thing is to make it personal. Give the recipient something that relates to special dates in their life, something appropriate for the event they have planned, or something that reflects their status. Every gift should be about the person it’s being given to, and wine is no exception.

What do you think?

Cedar

Written by Cedar

Cedar is a Chicago-based wine writer/consultant whose love of all things edible brought her back to wine after a brief stint in the tech industry. Her particular focus is on making wine more accessible to consumers and developing interest in lesser known varietals. Cedar currently works in wine retail, as well as writing informational wine articles and consulting on brand development for small producers.

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  1. Gifting wine can be tricky, especially if you want to impress a boss. In the past, I tend to choose the best premium ones in the market, preferably French wine. Gifting a local wine is a great idea.

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